Springtime at Swarthmore

I still remember almost every detail about the first time I visited Swarthmore’s campus. I was a junior in high school and had never heard of Swarthmore before, but had agreed to let my dad drag me along on a campus tour. As soon as I got out of the car after the six-hour ride, I was glad I had listened to him. The campus was beautiful and colorful, with deep green grass, gorgeous pink cherry blossom trees, and multi-colored flowers blooming in every direction. Later on, I would learn that Swarthmore’s campus is an arboretum, but I was sold on Swarthmore before the tour had even started. 

When springtime rolled around my freshman year, I already knew it was the best time to be on campus. There are too many reasons to count why spring at Swarthmore beats all other times of year, but I did my best!

The Arboretum

Living in an arboretum is hands-down the best part of Swarthmore. As soon as spring arrives, you’ll know. Flower buds start to peek out from tree branches and you’ll see the arboretum staff digging up last season’s plants and planting new ones. On your way to class, you’ll be accompanied by the fragrant smells of different flowers. The huge cherry blossom tree near the Science Center becomes a hotspot for students catching up on work, playing lawn games, and relaxing under the shade of its branches. Also, all the plants have little signs that tell you what they are, which is great for your own growing inspiration!

Students love to sit under this cherry blossom tree in the springtime

Springtime Campus Events

After the long winter season is over, social life at Swarthmore is reborn! There are school-wide events like Worthstock, the spring concert, and parties that are usually restricted to small venues like Olde Club (our student run performance space) and The Crumb Cafe (Swat’s student-run late-night cafe) can take place in the courtyards of Wharton and Worth dorms instead. On a warm spring day, there’s always something going on at Swat, whether it’s a celebration organized by a student group (Deshi’s Holi celebration is popular every spring) or it’s what seems like the entire campus sunbathing on Parrish Beach (our main green).

Worthstock, Swarthmore’s Spring Concert, takes place in Worth Courtyard


Dogs. Are. Everywhere. Community members take advantage of the gorgeous weather to bring their pets to campus for exercise, and are usually more than happy to let Swatties meet their pups. On top of that, there are lots of opportunities to see wild animals on campus, from the cute bunnies that hop around Wharton to the birds that congregate by the bird houses outside of the Science Center. If you take a walk in the Crum Woods, you’re bound to see some amazing animals. 

George and Molly, the bookstore dogs!


It takes some practice to balance your academic and social life at Swarthmore, but the spring offers the perfect time to take a break from studying and hop on a train to Philly for the day. With the train station right at the edge of Swarthmore’s campus, there couldn’t be a more convenient way to get into the city. Philly is a great place to wander around Rittenhouse Square, go to one of the art museums, eat until you can’t anymore at Reading Terminal Market, or visit the beautiful outdoor Magic Gardens. Swarthmore’s proximity to Philadelphia lets you get a taste of both city life and campus life.

Philly’s Rittenhouse Square

My favorite memories at Swarthmore have been the times when I sat under cherry blossom trees for hours with my friends, or met the cutest Golden Retriever puppy in the amphitheater, or had a blast at Worthstock. There’s always something to do on campus in the spring, and I can’t wait to be back on campus soon!

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Ananya, a junior from Massachusetts double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. In my free time, I love to play the guitar and be outdoors. At Swat, you’ll most likely find me hanging out with the Admissions Office dogs, enjoying a sunny day in the amphitheater, or munching on sushi in Underhill Library.

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